Today’s luminescent film by renowned fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh makes a study of songstress Sabisha Friedberg’s haunting vocals. The two met in Paris in 2008 (they both split time between the French capital and New York) and knew right away they were kindred spirits. “I have a memory of seeing [Lindbergh] through a window in his studio, smiling,” says Friedberg. “We had this immediate affinity.” Friedberg’s song “Cinder,” the soundtrack to the short, will be included on her band Sol Del Moon’s EP The Dream of a Forest Regaled, due out this spring. Lindbergh’s wall-size images from his sci-fi themed Invasion series go on show at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing next month. NOWNESS invited the pair to talk through their collaboration.
Sabisha Friedberg: It was impressive to be on set with the sea behind us, the glimmer and sound was tremendous. Why are you drawn to using the ocean in so many of your portraits?
Peter Lindbergh: Because the ocean is full of mystery and beauty.
SF: You did something very specific with the lights where the image is disappearing and reappearing.
PL: It feels like a breath of something unknown. It feels like leaving and coming back from somewhere…
SF: You chose to photograph this piece in black and white. What was your reason for that?
PL: I still have the impression that black and white represents a stronger sense of reality, even if this is obviously wrong.
SF: I use field recordings to create atmosphere in the songs. Often “chance” things occur—ghost-like recordings and strange occurrences, probably because I use derelict, antiquated equipment [laughs]. Leaving some room for this is inadvertently part of my process now.
PL: There is a way to work that invites all kinds of creative accidents to happen. I don’t know if “mystical” is the right term. It is about being open to all kinds of inspirational influences around you while working.
SF: How does this film relate to your approach to creating an image?
PL: I think that our film very much documents your spirituality and feelings. To discover and show this sensibility of, or in, someone is the most challenging part of my work.
SF: Investigating different aspects of sound is something that I am consumed by. What is your perpetual interest?
PL: The perpetual interest for me is to find out how to connect my experiences and feelings with my life as a photographer, husband, father and grandfather, and to move slowly forward with myself.